By: Leigh-Ann Hewer
So, you want to do PR. Then you’ll need content.
That might sound like stating the obvious, but it’s worth making sure you don‘t stumble at the first hurdle. It can be overwhelming trying to decide where to start, especially if you’re looking at a blank page and thinking you have to come up with something new, fresh and PR-able, out of thin air.
In reality, the best place to start is often to consider what you already have.
Most businesses have a huge number of ideas, opinions and expertise – they just tend to be scattered and hidden within a range of documents, emails and blogs.
Quality content is the cornerstone of PR activity, so it’s a great idea to have a look at the content you’re already producing and think about where else it could be used. Here are nine places you could consider.
- Dig out some blogs.
Blogs are a really strong place to start when looking for possible PR content. This can include personal blogs, guest blogs and company blogs. Blogs (or any content for that matter) that have been published before, of course, can’t be copied and reused word for word, but, with some good editing and a fresh spin, you could absolutely use and repurpose old blogs into new content.
- Sift through your emails.
Think about how many times you’ve written a detailed email response to a client or customer question. Could you take that information and make it into an informative piece of thought leadership or ‘how to’ article?
FAQs can also form a nice basis for possible PR content.
- Rejig your presentations.
It’s likely that you’ve given a few presentations, whether that be for clients, internal meetings or industry events, and they’re usually packed full of useful content.
Often, slide notes, scripts or prompt cards provide the best commentary potential, but it could even be on the slides themselves. You can always expand if you need to by asking someone new to run through it with you and ask questions where they feel more detail could be helpful.
- Share your expertise through case studies.
Writing case studies is tricky but having them written and ready to go is invaluable. They’re a wonderful way of showcasing what your business is capable of and provide clear evidence of your success. Case studies need to be kept short, snappy and engaging. Get the key points across quickly and simply by using stages such as background, brief, what we did and results.
- Rework your whitepapers.
Some businesses produce whitepapers more often than others, but either way they can be a useful resource for PR content and tend to be packed with relevant information and opinion. A good PR should be able to help you pull out the most newsworthy and original angles.
- Your Tweets may not be as random as they seem.
Social media is a brilliant place to find little sparks of interest. Different platforms provide different kinds of content. There’s often longer forms of content on LinkedIn; occasionally it can also be found in Twitter threads. Instagram is a really good place to look for interesting thoughts recorded on stories.
- Tap into to your team’s talent
Open the conversation up to the entirety of your team. They will all have interesting stories, thoughts and opinions to share and giving them an opportunity to contribute to PR efforts is great for team morale and confidence.
It doesn’t matter if they don’t have experience with writing, recording video etc. Your PR should be able to step in and edit, ghost-write or guide and support where necessary.
- Video content is always popular!
Video is a hugely popular format. Have you recorded any presentations or created any business video you can repurpose? Use the popularity of video to your advantage and create quick fire, shorter videos with key points and main takeaways from existing content. These can be used on your website and social media platforms.
- Use your PR professional.
PR professionals should be able to look at all of your existing content objectively and feed back honestly about what will make good PR content and what won’t. They should be able to help repurpose and craft new pieces from existing content, wherever it may be, being consistent with your tone and brand identity.
Bonus Tip: What makes a story newsworthy?
What makes a story newsworthy really depends on the context and the publication – what’s newsworthy for a title for HR professionals, for example, will be very different to for the construction trade press. When repurposing existing content, see if you can hook your content onto the current news agenda and consider the angle carefully. Think about what your target press cover and adapt your content for that.